Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Featured in Working Mother: Our little nest

Thank you Working Mother magazine for coming to our little home, was a pleasure having you!

Photo courtesy of Working Mother 
December edition 2014
Text by: Renasta
Photograph by: Ari

Featured in Bintang Home: Our little humble abode

I must say, the first time seeing our home in a 4 pages full spread magazine was weird, unreal and pretty awesome at the same time. When i was contacted by Bintang Home, i wasn't sure whether my home was appealing enough to be featured in an article but they insisted that ours was inspiring enough. Fauzan the lovely reporter and writer was such a fun person to talk to, our conversation didn't feel like an interview, instead it was just like a casual afternoon chat. He made it so easy!

We talked about our little dream home and what does it mean to us. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive, nothing too extra-ordinare, but everything in this house is our own sweat and tears. We worked really hard to buy our first house (well, thanks to my incredible husband for being able to put a roof under our heads and for meeting half way with me in decorating). We're  happy with how the article turned out. Fauzan's writing and Dani's photograph on our home was lovely! So here it is. What do you think?

Photo courtesy of Bintang Home
November edition 2014
Text by: Fauzan fadli
Photograph by: Kusumawardhani

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chic & Darling x Kelly's The Wrapping Paper Company In Caring for Children with HIV

As an extension of our annual CSR commitment program, around mid-march we had an epiphany to collaborate with a special talent for a special project that was very dear to us. We had the pleasure to work with The Humanity Forum and Lentera Anak Pelangi to help contribute to the caring for children that was diagnosed with HIV in Jakarta. We were lucky enough that we got to also collaborate with a very dear friend and also one of the most rising talent in Indonesia, Kelly's The Wrapping Paper Company

We decided to make two different products for two different use. As (at that time) we were about to launch a tea towel series as part of our "New Kitchen section", so we thought this could also be a fantastic teaser! Greatly inspired by children, yet we wanted to make something that everyone - at all age- can enjoy. We wanted to make something that everyone can relate to, which is dreams and happiness. Despite what these kids are going through, we are motivated and inspired by their strength and fighting spirit. The thought of Lemon and Flamingo just popped out in our mind, but the execution was a little tricky. We are proud that all materials used was safe for all homes and families, screen printed manually into a soft durable absorbent linen using water-based ink. 

We purposely produced the lemon tea towel and flamingo pillow in limited quantity. We launched these products at Market & Museum, June 2014 and it was sold out before we know it. It was truly overwhelming. Now, 40% of the profit has been contributed to these children currently undergoing medication. We would like to thank you to everyone who participated, who shopped, had fun and made use of these wonderful products. Not only you deserved that treat, you have also taken part in a good change. 



Chic & Darling

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


When I first saw this book from one of my favorite bloggers from the states,  I knew I had to have it.  It’s no doubt, #Girlboss is one of the most powerful book I have ever read.  As I recently just become a #Girlboss myself (at least I’d like to think so!), this book could have not come to me at a better time. This theft turned millionaire chick has more than just a success story, she tells it like it is, sugarcoats nothing and gives real advice like a sister.

Before you assume this will be my review of the book, let me tell you why I decided to do a blog post on this fierce businesswoman.  As I flipped through her book, something resonated with me. I can relate to her in so many ways that you can probably too. Allow me to share the strongest points in her book that I found amazingly coincidental with my life and not only that, reading her inspiring story gives me so much energy that moves me that I too and YOU, can be as great or even greater.


Sophia Amaruso the #Girlboss was a drop out, in and out of schools so many times. She was just an average girl. In fact, she felt she was always a little weird and insignificant. Her grades were never impressive, the teachers believed she had behavioral problem that they sent her to the schools psychologist in which the doctor prescribed her with anti depressants. She was a troubled student who hated school and continued to live a tough time being a nomad in her early teens crashing from home to home. After one shitty job to another, who knew that seven years later she is now the CEO of a multimillion-dollar company, a company she started at age twenty-two with only fifty dollar and no debt.

That part right there just simply blew my mind. Not because she is now a millionaire but because as if she came out of nowhere. Though she may seem an underdog but she was nowhere near a loser. Her courage to stay truthful to her past yet managed to get back up and kick herself in the butt to pay all those years failing is driving me nuts (in a good way!). Because let me tell you something, I was an underdog. I was just an average student at school, as a matter of fact, I was never into studying and I hated school too. In high school, I hated most of the teachers; I thought they were just greedy hypocrite people who lack of nurturing. I am not embarrassed to admit now that I had a hard time catching up with subjects like math and physics, while art and English were the only subjects I enjoyed and REALLY good at. I don’t know whether I was slow or was just completely lazy, I still can’t tell the difference. One thing for sure, I felt I wasn’t cut out for it. Only until I entered college, life took me by surprise. I took the media and photography as my major, for the first time in my life I felt like a real student and I enjoyed studying.

I wanted to high-five Sophia when she stated in the book, “the pure mechanics of the traditional school system were spirit crushing”. And I said to myself, now how true is that?

“It’s unfortunate that school is often regarded as one-size-fits-all kind of deal. And, if it doesn’t fit, you’re treated as if there is something wrong with you, so it is you, not the system, which is failing”.

Don’t get me wrong, I am now a parent and of course I won’t disregard the importance of academics, but I now have the consciousness that it’s okay if my kid doesn’t excel in all subjects. Instead of focusing on her weaknesses, I know she will be good at something and it’s my job to make sure she will be VERY damn good at it.


Back at home in my country, I had people asking about what I studied, usually followed with questions like “why do you want to be a photographer?” and “how far can you go with photography?” As annoying as it is, but the reality in our society there are still people out there with traditional mind-sets that people who take majors like accounting, economy or business are most likely to succeed. Majors like art? Forget about it.

Actually, it never crossed my mind that I would consider to be a professional photographer but I knew deep inside my heart that somehow, this would be my tool to do something with my life. So, NO, I didn’t want to be a photographer but I still like taking pretty pictures, I wanted to learn the history and aesthetics, I wanted all that because it simply made me happy. While those people were still wondering why in the world I would take photography as my major and not something more serious like economy, my grades were like shooting stars, I naturally always got distinctions to high distinctions (that’s like A or B+). I had always offered joint exhibitions where they display the top students works and usually that’s where we got recognized by the media. So I spent my final year at Uni working on my final project while also working part time as a waiter in a fine dining Italian restaurant called Vino Vino, and working as the youngest contributor at a local art magazine. I was so tired and busy but felt like I was on top of the world. That’s when I finally felt like a somebody!

Long story short, I didn’t turn out to be a professional photographer. But my heart was right all along; I used my photography skill to help assist the director of photography when I was a senior creative at a TV company. I used my skill to correctly judged frame by frame when I was editing the programs I was producing when I was a producer. I confidently reviewed my subordinates work and gave advises to my superior about things that worked and what didn’t when it came to cinematography.  Sending the correct visual message to the audience was very important to me, I was very mindful with my work. But most of all, my skill comes in handy when I started my own business.

Now back to Sophia, this girl started an E-bay business from a rented home and the only skill she had at that time was photography. Like me, she decided to follow her intuition and study photography. Her skill for photography benefited her in selling her Vintage stuff in E-bay, while other sellers didn’t really pay attention to detail; she took extra measure to put effort on styling, lighting and composition.

As I came to this point, I was, again, had that moment of  “oh- my –GOD”, because this was how I also started my business. I always got extra excited on taking pictures for all the products that I was going to sell. It was my favorite part of business, the creative process. Because I couldn’t afford to hire professional photographer at that time I gladly and passionately took all the pictures myself and styled it with my heart. Not caring so much about whether it was going to sell or not, turned out every product I shot that goes online, was almost always a hit.


When I started my own business, just like Sophia, I was practically a one-man show. It was truly overwhelming to bounce from being behind the camera to styling a bunch of colorful pillows to creating the graphics for a promo. Not to mention, replying emails, going extra miles to hunt for materials to designing a product. At this time, I was also a new mom. Let’s not even go into detail on how HARD managing time was (I will make a blog post on this!). But it was such a good first year that the business was taking off so quick that I could finally afford to hire people, including an admin and a professional photographer!

The other point why I could relate to Sophia’s story was, I was not so surprised that the reason of her business Nasty Gal has been successful is because her goals were never financial ones. She just simply loved doing what she was doing and just kept on doing it with all her heart as long as she can. Maybe some of you who read my previous post knew that I started my business out of my postnatal depression, I just simply needed a creative output. You know, to keep me sane. While of course, a business is not a business if you are not profitable, but it was never my main concern. I could finally push my self and maximize what my mother believed as my inner potential.

I finally found something that challenges my skill. I have always loved art, photography, writing as much as managing, scheduling, making timetables, producing something as much as getting shit done. I am a little OCD at organizing things. I never minded being a one-man show and I still don’t mind. I am truly inspired knowing although someone like Sophia Amaruso who now employed more than 350 people is still replying the official company’s twitter her self to cleaning up the entire stockroom until 2 am in the morning. The point is I believe you just got to be hands on. I treated everything with the utmost care. I loved how Sophia break it down to me, “It’s those small things that can make or break a business”.  

This may seem like the longest post I have written but I could not describe any shorter how personal this book is to me. I can’t give you a better advice but to get the book and read for yourself. Doesn’t matter if you are into business or not, this book is about how to live if you want to survive, in your own terms. While I am not (yet!) as successful as her, but I know the road however long or far is really up to me, I define my own success, and if I want to go far, I should might as well go fast. I know I can do it and nobody can stop me. No high school teacher can stop me now.

She reminded me that starting a business takes a lot of personal sacrifice, when I do things because I want to do them not because I have to, I can accomplish a lot. You have to make sure that you are doing something you love doing not because what everyone else is doing, because truthfully, that’s what keeps your creative juice flowing. Being true to yourself is the chore of happiness.

Compete with yourself, not with others. If you start listening to yourself, you should find that your heart has known what’s up all along. You create a world, blink by blink. It is entirely yours to discover and yours to create. Go out there and kick ass. Because that’s what a real #Girlboss do!

Thank you again, for reading a little bit of my story!

How to get the book: Times, Kinokuniya, Periplus, or maybe Aksara. You can find them online too at Amazon.com! Happy Reading!

 photo love-kania_zpsfb00cc66.jpg

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Yesterday, July 5th was a special moment for me. I was fortunate to attend the last day of the presidential campaign at our national stadium, GBK. My husband and I wanted to be present and witness the historical day. It was a mind-blowing experience, never even once I stood in the middle of so many different people from all layers of society. It was not like watching a concert - the feeling was completely different. Seeing all the good intentions on and off the stage was amazing. I can truly tell, there were so much love and genuine supporting Jokowi.

When he showed up on stage, there was no doubt, I was moved by his presence which was truly magnetic. Call me dramatic, but I unconsciously had tears in my eyes. I was sobbing with a mixed bag of emotions. One on side, tears of joy came rushing out of my eyes to know that finally my children will have a chance to have a president that will change their world into a better place. And worriedness, in knowing that if goodness does not prevail, there will be a strong chance of Indonesians living in fear for the next 5 years. 

Though I am only an audience in politics, I have always been super-concerned with its developments. However, I was never interested in the process of our presidential elections, which I'm sure I am not the only one in my generation who feels this way. I was rather skeptical and cynical about politicians and 'leaders' of my country. When once my husband asked me if he could join a political party one-day, I would firmly say “NO”.

I have fear and trust issues with our judicial system, not to mention the many flaws of our law enforcement. Call it prejudice from my end, but our society has shaped my thoughts, and I have always had a negative misconception of the majority of people who serve our nation. From police officers, supreme courts judges to regular civil servants, I have always thought that they view corruption as the norm. 

But I believe that there are still those who stand out in a positive way.  The poppy that stands above all in a savannah of greenery. My late grand mother was one of them.  She was one of the first women Supreme Court judge, and was one of the most respected who fought long and hard against the injustice that was happening in the era of President Soeharto. I saw it with my own eyes. She was frequently terrorized at her very own house for standing up for what is right. I remembered one day that she had a box of dead kittens sent to her. It was horrifying. She often had private investigators and private officers protecting her, following her everywhere she goes. We feared for her safety but she was the bravest woman I have ever known in my life. She was the one who taught me not to lose hope even in the darkest of time. She taught me to fight for what we believe and never give up no matter what the circumstances are.

Now it is finally the time for our generation to payback. Seeing Jokowi in action, allows me to feel that goodness can be restored. That law and justice can prevail in this country the same way they were intended to be and how my grand mother dreamt. I can confidently say that now I have a sense of belonging to this country (it is about time!). For the very first time in my life, I am excited about OUR presidential election.  I am excited about everything, but especially I am excited about the candidates.

For me it is not a hard decision. It is plain and simple. There are only two choices. One candidate with a good heart, and the other one - who I'm not so sure about. The track record does not lie. We know that the technology have made our lives very easy these days to find information and to gather facts about someone. Both have track records, but only one has a long list of achievements that is acknowledged by the world. Not only that, to me his personality and character is truly a resemblance of a true Indonesian. He is kind, undoubtedly intelligent, and extremely polite, always know what he's saying, genuinely loved by the people and my favourite part is, he is a ‘do-er’. He get things done, he make things happen. He does not just talk. He gives us examples, and show us how to do it. He is a living proof of a mental revolution. 

It is now the time for Indonesia to shine. It is now the time that Indonesians can be proud of a leader. There is finally someone that shows this country has hope. We, together, can make that change. It is not the time anymore to be ignorant, if you do not vote, there's a slightest chance your voice will be used against the betterment of us. I pray so hard with my heart and soul for Jokowi to win. We all know, this man is a breath of fresh air. May God bless this nation and bless our future leader. I am proud to experience the last day of Jokowi’s presidential campaign, and one day I will share this story to my children and can proudly say that mama was there. 

Don't forget to vote, next Wednesday on July 9th 2014.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thank you again, Home & Decor!

"The one thing that you have that nobody else is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can", - Neil Gaiman.

So happy to receive a lovely surprise in the first morning of my July! Would like to share with you another article about me and my little business in Now People, Home & Decor magazine, June 2014. I consider my self a lucky person for being able to create my own creative output, have fun with it and at the same time make money from. To be honest, my experience as a new mother was truly an eye opener, my daughter is my inspiration. I keep wanting to create and produce something useful that i would use around the house, and my dream is to share that to other homes, other families. I personally think it is important how you project your brand to the world, it should reflect your mission and vision. 

For me, since the beginning i knew i didn't want to just sell my products, i want my brand to inspire, to have added values. That is why giving back to community is only a small part of the brand activity that we here, in Chic & Darling is doing. We will expand and hopefully have bigger range of home living goods that serves lots and lots of homes. My story is mine to keep and mine to share. I am happy that perhaps our brand has inspired other new business owner to start their own, especially in the home living industry. I strongly encourage new business owners to find their own story, create their own unique style, figure out what works and what doesn't on their own terms. If you fail, get back up and try again. Although i believe what they say, "copying is the best form of flattery", but it is still not cool. So be creative, tickle yourself!

No matter how hard you copy others, you will not be like them because you are you and others ARE others. It is not the same. In my humble opinion, God has given us the best of human potential. Might as well make the most of our lives by living the life we want, because we all, owe that to ourselves. 

Thank you for reading i hope you enjoy what i shared today :)

Stay kind, be humble. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Talullah turns 2 year old!

Though this may sound a little unusual of me but this project was a long and hard decision to make. When i knew Lulla was going to turn 2 this year, i immediately had my mind bombarded with plan and ideas. I knew this time, i wanted to have a little party for her. We didn't have it on her 1st because we thought we didn't want to overwhelm her too much too soon and keeping it intimate was best, and it was. So this year we decided to have a little celebration. But not long after, I was choked by the calendar that her birthday may be on the same day as the 1st fasting day. I was like "Oh no!!", this is going to be trrrriicky. 

In my country, the government has been indecisive in deciding what day should be the 1st day of Ramadhan it always confuses the hell out of people! And of course in most family's tradition, normally people would prefer to spend their first break fasting only with their families. "But what i am going to do?"," Lulla's birthday is on the 28th (which is on the saturday) and what if that day is the 1st fasting day?". I had all this confusing questions that nobody can answer because nobody knows for sure. Hopefully by next year, with the new election coming up, our new President can be firm on these issues. *fingers crossed*

So i had weeks of contemplating while still surveying for the perfect venue. I had long long discussion with my husband whether we should just do intimate family dinner, friends only playdates or have it at home. Until one time, i decided to just call it off and not have anything at all because i can't seem to overcome the thought that if i do have a party but nobody comes (yaiks!!). Buuuuut, a magical thing happened, i had a glimpse of insight that i should just have it anyway, invite the closest most dearest people in our lives and that i should accept the possibility that some people may not be coming. 

Alrighty, so i had only ONE freakin week to prepare for E V E R Y T H I N G. Lucky i had ordered the birthday cake weeks in advanced, so that's checked. I came up with simple ideas for the party decoration which i insisted to make it on my own so hopefully that my little girl would think cool of me one day (hahaha!). All the food was pretty much well thought of, it was not so hard on deciding the menus. We had bakso noodles (meatballs and noodles), siomay and dimsum (some call it yam cha), Nasi Bali (balinese mixed rice) etc. Here is the birthday invitation i made with a talented friend on the very last minute which i completely love! 

Here is a little DIY i did for the party decoration. You can pretty much you tube everything, because i did and boy i had fun!. All the materials are available in local book stores, don't worry, it's pretty much easy to find. Incase you're wondering, I did not particularly decided on a colour theme or even any theme. I just intuitively picked the colours available on the stores that caught my eyes. 

Customised party bunting is a must. I use photoshop, scale it on 18 cm x 11,5 cm for each, print it on A3 paper and voila, my buntings are ready!

She received so much presents it's so overwhelming, but i did't let her open it all at once. I told her she can only open 4 presents a day, this way she get to really focus, appreciate and enjoy each present one by one. To be honest, I did't really expect a 2 year old birthday party can be so intense, i consider not to have birthday parties every year. I woke up with flu the next day, but seeing so much love thrown at her makes it worth while. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Making time. The new me!

This is 2014. I can't believe it has taken me this long, to write another post since my last one. It has been probably over a year. I have missed this blog, i have missed writing (especially about beauty and oh not to mention how many beauty updates and you tube videos i have actually missed!) . I do, i have missed writing where i don't actually give a damn if even nobody reads it! Like seriously. I can't believe how much i actually truly missed this blog until i start writing right now. 

Well, the truth is, i was in awe, flattered and moved. Some people (and most are strangers, believe it or not) that personally emailed me, contacted me, messaged me saying that they actually enjoyed reading my blog. Some of them actually read it religiously that they started buying (beauty) things that I actually liked and wrote about in my blog. They say, i should keep writing. I was like, WHAT? FOR REAL? The fact that there's real people that actually read and enjoyed my blog, now THAT feels surreal. I know it has been way too long since my last post, and believe me i have a hundred list of excuses why i had not been writing and a another million list of regrets of why i should've!

You see, so many has happened in my life over a year. Imagine that, over a year! Now i have regrets of not writing and recording that every single day of what i failed to do, of what i have achieved, of what i felt and learned. Now i want to make sure i don't add on to more days and months of missing out on my own life. They say, your life will be flashing before eyes. Only a year, but i felt i have missed a lot on writing about such good stuff. So here i am, with a whole new commitment, that i will (not just try) but START writing again. Not just for you who actually do read my blog (Can't thank you enough, by the way, you guys are such sweethearts!), but for me, for my own sake, my own sanity. 

Life has been pretty crazy for me. Crazy hectic! It is not easy being a mama, a parent to be exact. It has been bittersweet, juggling between being a full time mother and wife with endless home chores, balancing with work life to taking care of my own self. I do not get to rest like most people in this house. But i 'm pretty sure i'm not alone. I get up before everyone and sleeps after everyone. I salute all moms now. So how will i make time to write on my personal blog then? I don't know how but i will make time. My mom always say, if you don't make time, there will be no time. This is the same with every other things i have taken for granted like doing sports or even praying 5 times a day. Let's just say, now i will make time for the important things i know i will regret not doing 2 or 5 years from now. These are the simple happiness i should focus on my self more. Because now i clearly remember how writing on this blog made me so happy. It actually saved me so much. It saved my time from wandering stupid things. It saved me from worrying about things that don't happen. It saved me from my own post natal depression. It saved me from getting up again and having the courage to chase for my biggest wildest dreams. This blog, saved my life.

In 10 years from now, i want to be able to do a flash back on my blog, have a giggle and feel proud i did most of the things i always wanted to do. So here i am, finally making time to come back and write. This time, for sure, my blog will feel a little different. I will not just write and share about my beauty experience but i will also write about what i feel, think, love and learn through my ups and downs. I know that my blog will have more fun, because it makes me happy. As a start, i would like to share with you one of my biggest dream:

Thank you for reading, until my next story!